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Injury Prevention

Seat Belt Safety
According to the SafeKids website, vehicle crashes remain the number one killer of children ages 2-14 in the United States. Safe Kids Buckle Up teaches parents and caregivers how to buckle up children the right way, on every ride.

Rules You Need to Know
  • Every person on every ride must use a car seat, booster seat or safety belt that's right for his or her weight and height.
  • All children under age 13 must ride in a back seat.
  • Know where the airbags are in your vehicles. They can be in the front seat, on the roofline or in a back seat. Some airbags can be turned off.
  • Follow manufacturers' instructions for car seats, booster seats and vehicle safety at all times.
  • Do not allow your child to ride in vehicles where drivers or passengers do not use safety restraints.
  • Don’t share safety belts. Use one safety belt for each person in the car.
  • Weigh and measure children often to be sure they are using the right safety device.
  • Install car seats using a locked vehicle safety belt or LATCH system.
  • Read and follow all labels and instructions.
  • Never use car seats purchased from yard sales, secondhand stores or flea markets.
  • Never let children ride on laps or in cargo areas or pickup truck beds.
  • Get help with your child passenger safety by contacting a Safe Kids coalition near you.

Always Remember

Your child is counting on you to provide the best protection in a vehicle! Make sure your child always rides safely in your car, and prepare older children to "think safety" if they are ever in a car where no car seat or booster seat is available.

Make sure children know how to protect themselves by sitting in a back seat and using a safety belt. Approximately 45 percent of children who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2006 were completely unrestrained. Don't let your child become a statistic.

For the best protection, use the right restraint for your child's age, weight and height. And remember to wear your seat belt on every ride too. Your child will do as you do!

Seat Belt Safety Tools
There are many tools parents and caregivers can use to help reduce the risk of injury and death to children who ride in vehicles. Click on the links below to learn more information about seat belt safety for each age group.

Infants Car Safety - http://www.safekids.org/safety-basics/babies/on-the-way/  
Toddler Car Safety - http://www.safekids.org/safety-basics/little-kids/on-the-way/  
Booster Seats - http://www.safekids.org/safety-basics/little-kids/on-the-way/car-seats-and-booster-seats.html
Seat Belts - http://www.safekids.org/safety-basics/safety-resources-by-risk-area/car-seats-boosters-seat-belts-/booster-seats-and-seat-belt-safety-tips.html

Safe Driving
Auto accidents are often preventable by paying attention to your surroundings and driving within the speed limit. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that speeding was a contributing factor in 31% of fatal car crashes in 2007.

Safe Driving Tips:
  • Always wear your seat belt--and make sure all passengers buckle up, too.
  • Adjust your car's headrest to a height behind your head--not your neck. This helps minimize whiplash in case you're in an accident.
  • Never try to fit more people in the car than you have seatbelts for them to use.
  • Obey the speed limits, going too fast gives you less time to stop or react. Excess speed is one of the main causes of teenage accidents.
  • Don't run red lights.
  • Use turn signals to indicate your intention to turn or to change lanes. Turn it on to give the cars behind you enough time to react before you take the action. Also, make sure the signals turns off after you've completed the action.
  • When a stoplight turns green, make sure the intersection clears before you proceed.
  • Make sure your windshield is clean. At sun rise and sun set, light reflecting off your dirty windshield can momentarily blind you from seeing what's going on.
  • Make sure your car has gas in it. Don't ride around with the gauge on empty--who knows where you might get stranded.
  • Don't drink and drive, and don't ride with anyone who has been drinking. Call parents or friends to take you home if you need a ride.
  • Don't take drugs or drive if you've taken any. Don't ride with anyone who has been using drugs. Even some over the counter drugs can make you drowsy. Check labels for warnings.
Source: www.teendriving.com

Here is a link for more information: http://www.rita.dot.gov/distracted_driving_summit

Suicide Prevention
Risk factors: depression, substance abuse

Warning signs
  • Ideation (thinking, talking or wishing about suicide)
  • Substance use or abuse (increased use or change in substance)
  • Purposelessness (no sense of purpose or belonging)
  • Anger Trapped (feeling like there is no way out)
  • Hopelessness (there is nothing to live for, no hope or optimism)
  • Withdrawal (from family, friends, work, school, activities, hobbies)
  • Anxiety (restlessness, irritability, agitation)
  • Recklessness (high risk-taking behavior)
  • Mood disturbance (dramatic changes in mood)

Additional Warning Signs of Suicide
  • Talking about suicide.
  • Looking for ways to die (internet searches for how to commit suicide, looking for guns, pills, etc.)
  • Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness.
  • Preoccupation with death.
  • Suddenly happier, calmer.
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about.
  • Visiting or calling people one cares about.
  • Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order.
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions.
For more information, visit www.save.org.

In an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
Are you or someone you know feeling suicidal?
Call a New Hampshire’s 24-hour Crisis Line

The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester
24 hours / 7 days
(603) 668-4111

Child Safety

Children can be prone to accidents because they are developing motor skills and coordination. Protective gear is available so children can enjoy their favorite activities and avoid injury. Some examples include: helmets, seat belts, car seats, wrist guards, gloves, knee pads, life preservers and mouth guards.

Playtime isn't the only place to think about protecting your children. Safety devices are available for inside the home as well. These include gates that prevent toddlers from falling, safety locks and latches that prevent access to harmful or heavy items, door knob covers and locks that prevent access to areas that could prove dangerous like a swimming pool or shed, bumpers that cover sharp edges around the home and outlet covers to prevent your child from being electrocuted.

More information is available at the following web sites:

Bicycle Safety
Each year, more than 500,000 people in the US are treated in emergency departments, and more than 700 people die as a result of bicycle-related injuries.

Children are at particularly high risk for bicycle-related injuries. In 2001, children 15 years and younger accounted for 59% of all bicycle-related injuries seen in US emergency departments.

Helmets are cool! - Wear your Helmet!
Safety Tips
We can make bicycling safer for all by observing the following safety tips:
  • Always wear a helmet
  • Obey all traffic controls
  • Ride your bicycle near the right-hand edge of the road
  • Never carry another person on your bicycle
  • Always use hand signals when turning or stopping
  • Look out for cars at cross street, driveways, and parking places
  • Be careful when checking traffic and don't swerve when looking over your shoulder
  • Give pedestrians the right-of-way
  • Keep your bicycle in good condition
  • Always ride carefully

Remember a bicycle is a vehicle. Bicyclists share a complex traffic environment with other larger forms of transportation. Youngsters under age nine lack the physical and mental development to interact safely in that environment.

Learn more about the problem of bicycle related injuries and what you can do to prevent them at these websites.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
Kids and Bicycle Safety

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